Bagged or Bagless Vacuums | Which is Better?

When it’s time to purchase the perfect vacuum cleaner, bagless vs bagged is one of the first decisions that comes to mind. When most people think about vacuum cleaners, they tend to picture the bagged variety. However, there is a great deal to be said of the benefits and advantages of bagless vacuum cleaners, so let’s take a deeper look at the age-old subject of bagged vacuum cleaners vs. bagless.

Overview of Bagged Vacuums

Bagged vacuum cleaners direct air and dust into a disposable bag by sucking it into the system and bringing any debris along with it. The disposable collection bags act as filters and containers, allowing the air to flow through and trap the dirt. Full bags must be removed and the dirt disposed of.

Overview of Bagless Vacuums

The method employed by most bagless backpack vacuum cleaners is as follows:

Picking up dirt

Powerful suction draws dust and debris-filled air into the system through the cleaning nozzle.

Cyclonic movement

The air is spun rapidly as it enters, and the centrifugal force separates the dust.

Catchment container

The dust is deposited into an attached container, typically made from solid, antibacterial plastic.


Bagless vacuums often have additional filters (disposable or washable) to prevent debris from being released when emptying the machine.

Their lightness makes them easier to manoeuvre and carry than traditional vacuum cleaners, and this is a crucial element in the question of bagless vs bagged vacuum cleaners.  

Bagged vs Bagless Vacuum Cleaners—A Comparison

When we look at the subject of bagged vs bagless vacuum cleaner units, their intended function and desired result are the same. However, the way they achieve this is remarkably different. Both are useful in specific scenarios, for example:

  • Bagless vacuums are portable and can be taken almost anywhere the user chooses. This is particularly useful when tackling stairs or confined spaces. 
  • The exceptional, powered suction of bagged vacuums makes them superb at covering larger areas quickly without recharging like battery backpack vacuum cleaners. 

Pros and Cons

In the battle of bagless vacuum vs bagged vacuum cleaners, certain factors must be considered, namely:


Because the rubbish and air are separated quickly and efficiently, bagless vacuums release fewer unpleasant odours and particles as they operate. The filter-protected bin prevents rubbish from escaping.



Bagged vacuum cleaners are powerful and typically cheaper upfront, but replacement bags push those costs up as time passes. 


When you think of a vacuum cleaner, more than likely you’ll think of the bagged vacuum model.  However – and most notably within the commercial cleaning industry – these units were rapidly becoming a costly problem for these businesses. More than three decades ago, cyclone vacuums made their way onto the market by finding a solution to clogged vacuum bags. The solution lies in the separation of rubbish from the vacuum air – i.e. a cyclone separator. Vacuum cleaners collect and concentrate rubbish from a large area into a small vessel, which includes unwanted microbes such as bacteria, fungus, and germs.

How a Bagged Vacuum Works?

In bagged vacuums, filtration happens when rubbish enters the bag. This means the vacuum air passes through it and collects the rubbish – resulting in a purging smell of decomposing odours created by microbes.  If the bag is partially full and left-over time, the microbes multiply, resulting in more smell, germs and a harder to clean bag.

How a Bagless Vacuum Works?

With the Advantage vacuum cleaner, the container is made from an antibacterial solid plastic material. In addition, as this is a backpack machine, this plastic makes it easier and lighter to carry than a traditional machine.   When you use the cyclone vacuum, the centrifugal force from the suction separates the dirt from the air, each of which have their own movements through the cyclone tube – 


Moves to the tank walls and falls to the bottom of the sealed bin. 


Makes its way towards the central vortex to be expelled from the cyclone tube.

With the rubbish and air separating in an instance, it reduces the smell and air contaminants, while the bin design prevents the re-entry of rubbish into the air stream.

How Vacuum Cleaners Get Clogged?

Cyclone or air bagged vacuums are less prone to clogging up with dust and other debris from your home.  In the Advantage design, the smallest hole size is 0.6mm on the Mesh Filter, which is positioned before the internal cyclones, making it extremely difficult for large particles to enter. However, a bagged vacuum cleaner has microscopic filter pores that clog easily especially with fine dust. While a regular cyclone vacuum filter system does not provide absolute filtration, the Advantage cyclone filtration efficiency is 99.92% – a definite plus for those who suffer from dust allergies too.  A pleated, back-up motor filter is used to reduce emissions to less than 0.008%. This filter is Teflon coated for dust release and is also waterproofed for rinsing. Best of all, the filter can be reused approximately ten times before needing to be replaced. Since cyclone vacuums clog less, they provide a consistent and efficient high airflow which improves and speeds up the overall cleaning experience. 

Difference Between Bag and Bagless Vacuum Cleaners

Sure, their function may be similar but the different between these two types of vacuum cleaners is the upkeep. Without a bag, these units use a combination of the air, suction and the filters to split the particles, making it so convenient to maintain.  The main difference between the two Advantage systems lies in filter maintenance – 

  • Mesh filter –  maintained by a single swipe from a microfibre duster
  • Motor filter – this a reusable filter and can simply be rinsed to clean

Bagged vacuums require vacuuming of the actual filter – which is more difficult. On the other hand, a full filter restoration of these units is almost impossible, without thoroughly washing the bag or taking it for dry cleaning. 

Additional Cost for Bagged Vacuums

For the average commercial cleaner, we estimate the additional cost of replacement bags around $100.00 p.a.  Not to mention the time and effort required to – 

  • Thoroughly clean reusable bags 
  • Re-clean areas that aren’t sufficiently cleaned due to poor suction
  • Air out spaces due to the odour left from full or poor quality bags

Invest in a Clean Space

With the Advantage cyclone vacuum, it’s just a matter of quickly replacing the filter when needed and emptying the unit.  If you need assistance in deciding whether bag or bagless vacuums are the way to go, be sure to read through our reviews to help with your decision. 


At Rugged Industries, we have an unmatched collection of premium bagged backpack and bagless backpack vacuum cleaners perfect for any cleaning requirement. If you have a moment, please check the FAQs; they contain informative answers and helpful information. We also have a convenient ‘how to’ page for additional advice, details about vacuum cleaner parts, and other performance enhancement and maintenance aspects. 

Contact Us About Bagged vs Bagless Vacuums

If you need more assistance in deciding between a bag vs a bagless vacuum, the team is standing by to help. To learn more about us and our unwavering commitment to the highest quality products, services, and customer service, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us today. 

Our team of hand-picked, experienced professionals will assist in any way possible and provide the advice, information, and guidance you need when considering the best vacuum for your needs.

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